Nowadays, authors are expected to invest a lot of time and energy in promoting their books. While some people hate this idea, I think it’s a great chance to be creative. Besides, it’s YOU you’re trying to sell. No one else will be able to do a better job. So here are a few promotion ideas I’ve come up with while trying to think of ways to promote my upcoming book. I hope they will be of some help to other people as well.
1. Print up promotional material. This takes a small financial investment on the authors part, but the potential for sales can easily equal a long term profit. I plan on printing up a few hundred business cards with my books title and a link to Musa’s site. I’ll be able to pass them out to people, leave them at certain businesses, and give them to other people to pass out.
I may also print up some flyers/poster to hang up on local bulletin boards. Grocery stores, laundry mats, and college campuses all usually have places for people to put up material. This is basically free advertising space. You might as well use it. Just ask permission first.
I’m also going to look into having a T-shirt made up with my books information. Every time I wear it, I’ll be a walking billboard. People will often approach someone wearing an interesting T-shirt, so it’s a great way to start up a conversation about your book. These also make great give away items because everyone loves free T-shirts. Plus, everyone who wears a shirt with your information on it will be advertising for you.
If you’re not sure about how to go about doing this, I’ve used Vistaprint in the past and have been please with the finished product. If you’re really crafty, you can probably do all of this with your own computer.
2. Recruit your friends and family. That doesn’t mean harassing them, though. Just give them the option to help you. Post a link on Facebook, or Twitter- if you’re lucky, people with repost it to help you out. I would also recommend giving them some business cards to hang onto, in case they run into someone who is interested in your book.
3. Join online forums. You can find forums discussing almost every topic under the sun. Many of these forums will let you leave a link to your book in your signature (the thing that appears at the bottom of every post you make.) Every time you say something, you’ll be leaving a link to your book. It's free and easy to use. Just be careful not to spam them with self promotion. Engage in conversation and get involved in the community. The Kindle boards are a great place to start because a lot of potential readers hang out there.
4. Take out advertising space in a local paper. There’s a small free publication near me that gets delivered to thousands of homes. I know a lot of people read it. They only charge around ten dollars for a short add. Some may even let you do a free announcement if you play up the fact that you’re a local author.
5. Throw yourself a launch party. This one can be expensive if you aren’t careful but it will get people talking about your book. You can invite close friends and family, editors, and even members of the press. It’s really up to you how big you want to make it.
6. Talk to local book stores and libraries. Many of them will let you set up a signing or speaking event. I was just at a library signing where the author sold every book she brought. Even if you don’t sell a bunch of copies, you will get your name out.
7. Blog. Most of you are probably already doing this, but participating in blogs is a great way to get your name out there. Join blog hops. Do interviews. Put up blog posts about other authors. The blogging world is huge, influential, and always growing. Don’t let it go to waste.